Salina Central’s Rupe sets Rim Rock record, Maize’s Glazier wins silver in 5A

Class 5A State Cross Country held at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on October 29, 2022
Class 5A State Cross Country held at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on October 29, 2022(Mike Courson)
Published: Oct. 29, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - It’s no secret that private schools have dominated Class 5A on the cross country course in recent memory. Prior to wins by Mill Valley and Maize South, private schools won the previous 14 state girls’ titles dating back to 2005. On the boys’ side, St. Thomas Aquinas entered with eight-straight titles, and Emporia was the last public school to win a title in 2007.

But there was still some drama to be had in the individual races. Salina Central sophomore Katelyn Rupe could only play one sport last fall and she opted to medal in tennis. This season, she has emerged as the state’s top runner. Saturday, she set a new Rim Rock record, winning the 5A title by 64 seconds in 17:13.84. Kansas City Piper senior Grace Hanson picked up the silver in 18:17.96.

“I thought I was capable,” Rupe said. “I was questioning it maybe a little bit on mile two.”

Rupe again jumped out to a sizable lead early, but with the course at Rim Rock and a tough 5A class behind her, she never knew how big the lead was.

“I did feel like I had people behind me, though,” she said. “The crowd is so loud. I don’t know how far people are back, but I can hear people cheering so that’s definitely a motivator.”

Lenexa’s St. James Academy won the team title with 51 points, followed by St. Thomas Aquinas with 81 points, and Kapaun Mt. Carmel with 115 points. Kapaun edged out Topeka-Seaman by a single point for the final team trophy. Several of those placings for both teams were decided by a second or two.

Andover freshman Madelyn Wallace ran sixth in 19:20.51, and Kapaun freshman Taylor Barringer led the Crusaders in seventh in 19:20.98. Great Bend finished third at state last year and was hoping for another team trophy this year. The Lady Panthers fell to fifth in a tie with De Soto. Sophomore Marissa Boone placed eighth in 19:33.50, and junior Addy Nicholson picked up a state medal in 15th in 19:45.37.

Blue Valley SW takes 5A crown

Even losing the top-two finishers from a year ago - both Div. I runners - Aquinas was still a factor in Saturday’s race with the individual favorite. Senior Colby King cruised to the win by 32 seconds in 15:16.6, but it was Blue Valley Southeast ending Aquinas’ long streak with 67 points for the team title. Aquinas placed second with 82 points, and Kapaun placed third with 87 points. Maize scored 102 points for fourth.

King was a heavy favorite to win the race, but Maize junior Kaleb Glazier won last weekend’s regional meet in Great Bend, beating last year’s third place finisher. He had high hopes for a title Saturday.

Class 5A State Cross Country held at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on October 29, 2022
Class 5A State Cross Country held at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on October 29, 2022(Mike Courson)

“I was just going to give it all I had, just keep it all mentally on the field and grit it out as far as I could,” he said.”

King, Glazier, Great Bend’s Kaiden Esfeld, and Topeka West’s Lenny Njoroge broke out early. King eventually separated from the pack and Glazier had to hold on for second in 15:48.50. Njoroge dropped to fourth in 15:51.9, a photo-finish with Southwest’s Thomas Caul. Esfeld, the third-place finisher a year ago, fell to 11th in 16:13.70.

“I tried to stay on him,” Glazier said of King. “As soon as he caught a pace, I tried to stay where I was at because I knew I probably wouldn’t catch him at that far of a distance. I just held on and tried to not let anyone pass me.”

Kapaun senior Luke Brock led his squad in fifth overall in 15:54.20. Emporia sophomore Micah Paschke clipped Esfeld at the end to take over the final top-10 spot by less than a second in 16:06.0.